6 Reasons Why Spending Time Outside is Vital for Seniors
No matter your age, as soon as the warmer season nears, you can’t help but look forward to those outdoor barbecues, trips to the zoo, the scent of the flowers growing in the yard, and all the other splendors of summer. And it’s no wonder why. Spending time outside is vital, especially for seniors, for many reasons. They include:
Vitamin D Intake: One major reason is Vitamin D. When sunlight hits your bare skin, your body converts a prohormone in the skin into Vitamin D. Vitamin D strengthens bones and teeth, supports the immune system, improves cardiovascular health, and regulates diabetes levels. Increasing Vitamin D intake is especially useful for seniors, as it can aid in the prevention of osteoporosis
Improved Mood: Spending time outside also has mental health benefits. Sun exposure increases the brain’s release of a hormone called serotonin, which improves mood. This process can also help you feel focused, which is beneficial in boosting memory.
Mindfulness Techniques: Getting back to nature gives you a sense of calm peacefulness that you sometimes do not get indoors. As you’re taking a walk through the woods, take the time to touch the trees, smell the leaves, and listen to the sounds of bees buzzing and birds chirping. You will find yourself happier and less stressed.
Stronger Memory and Motor Skills: Changing your environment aids in memory and motor skill development. Seeing something different stimulates the mind, and being outdoors also helps seniors develop motor skills, such as during gardening. Playing Frisbee with your grandchild, as another example, not only equates to quality time, but also improves hand-to-eye coordination – for both of you.
Exercise Opportunities: Opportunities for exercise are increased. If you do not enjoy indoor exercises, you may prefer walking in the park, swimming in an outdoor pool, playing golf, or other outdoor activities
Social Time: You socialize more. When you’re outdoors, you see and talk with more people than the ones you do on a daily basis. As we age, socialization is vital. Many studies have shown that companionship has numerous benefits for seniors, and what better place to socialize than in the great outdoors?
At Waltonwood, we understand the benefits of spending time outdoors, which is why we encourage outdoor activity and plan excursions. To learn more about Waltonwood and our EXPAND Life Enrichment Program, visit our website or call one of our senior living communities in Michigan, North Carolina, or Virginia